iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence), the flagship initiative of the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, ceremoniously embarked upon the milestone of signing its 100th contract on July 26, 2022.
iDEX framework was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 with the objective that it would provide the platform of co-creation and co-development in the Defence sector, and would engage start-ups to contribute to the defence sector and develop defence and aerospace setup in the country. iDEX is being implemented by Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), established under Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.
Within a short span of time iDEX, which has also been awarded the prestigious Prime Minister Award for Public Policy in Innovation Category for the year 2021, has emerged as a game changer in the Defence eco-system through its flagship programmes like Defence India Start-up Challenges (DISC), Prime and Open Challenges (OC). iDEX has been able to build the required momentum and generate critical mass of start-ups in the defence sector.
Today, the 100th contract was signed by Additional Secretary (Defence Production) and CEO, DIO Sanjay Jaju with CEO Pacify Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd Saiprasad Poyarekar. The occasion was graced by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General B.S. Raju. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ajay Kumar said, “We are confident that iDEX will make India the biggest Defence Innovation Ecosystem in the world. For this, I would like to thank the tireless and continuous efforts and support from all the stakeholders, including the Services, the start-ups, partner incubators and the iDEX team.”
Till date, iDEX has launched iDEX Prime, seven rounds of DISC (including DISC SPRINT) and five rounds of OC, receiving more than 4,000 applications from individual innovators, MSMEs and start-ups. More than 250 crore worth of projects have been allocated and procurement of 14 items worth over 400 crore have been cleared. iDEX has also been able to generate thousands of jobs and attract India’s talent back to the country.
In the last four years, 17 start-ups in 14 projects have already been accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for trial and procurement in March 2022. Projects from balance of DISC 1 & 2 and some from DISC 3 are nearing completion and may be accorded AoN by DAC by end of current Financial Year.
iDEX is working at path breaking pace to ensure that its agreements with the start-ups and innovators reach logical conclusions timely, eventually opening myriad of options for the budding, soon to be unicorns and also at the same time addressing the requirement of Services.